What is real, authentic friendliness?
The question you have asked is very complex. You will have to understand a few other things before you can understand what real authentic friendliness is.
The first is friendship. Friendship is love without any biological tones to it. It is not the friendship that you understand ordinarily – the boyfriend, the girlfriend. To use the word friend in any way associated with biology is sheer stupidity. It is infatuation and madness. You are being used by biology for reproduction purposes.
If you think you are in love, you are wrong; it is just hormonal attraction. Your chemistry can be changed and your love will disappear. Just an injection of hormones and a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man.
Friendship is love without any biological tones. It has become a rare phenomenon. It used to be a great thing in the past, but a few great things in the past have completely disappeared. It is a very strange thing that ugly things are stubborn, they don’t die easily; and beautiful things are very fragile, they die and disappear very easily.
Today friendship is understood either in biological terms or in economic terms, or in sociological terms – in terms of acquaintance, a kind of acquaintance. But friendship means that if the need arises you will be ready even to sacrifice yourself. Friendship means that you have made somebody else more important than yourself; somebody else has become more precious than you yourself. It is not a business. It is love in its purity.
This friendship is possible even the way you are now. Even unconscious people can have such a friendship. But if you start becoming more conscious of your being, then friendship starts turning into friendliness. Friendliness has a wider connotation, a far bigger sky.
Friendship is a small thing compared to friendliness. Friendship can be broken, the friend can turn into an enemy. That possibility remains intrinsic in the very fact of friendship.
I am reminded of Machiavelli giving guidance to the princes of the world in his great work, The Prince. One of his guidelines is, Never tell anything to your friend which you would not be able to say to your enemy, because the person who is a friend today may turn into an enemy tomorrow.
And the suggestion following that is, Never say anything against the enemy, because the enemy can turn into a friend tomorrow. Then you will be very embarrassed. Machiavelli is giving a very clear insight: that our ordinary love can change into hate, our friendship can become enmity any moment. This is the unconscious state of man – where love is hiding hate just behind it, where you hate the same person you love but you are not aware of it.
Friendliness becomes possible only when you are real, you are authentic, and you are absolutely aware of your being. And out of this awareness, if love arises it will be friendliness. Friendliness can never change into its opposite. Remember this as a criterion, that the greatest values of life are only those which cannot change into their opposite; in fact there is no opposite.
You are asking, “What is real authentic friendliness?”
It will need a great transformation in you to have a taste of friendliness. As you are, friendliness is a faraway star. You can have a look at the faraway star, you can have a certain intellectual understanding, but it will remain only an intellectual understanding, not an existential taste.
Unless you have an existential taste of friendliness, it will be very difficult, almost impossible to make a distinction between friendship and friendliness. Friendliness is the purest thing you can conceive about love. It is so pure that you cannot even call it a flower, you can only call it a fragrance which you can feel and experience, but you cannot catch hold of. It is there, your nostrils are full of it, your being is surrounded by it. You feel the vibe, but there is no way to catch hold of it; the experience is so big and so vast and our hands are too small.
I said to you that your question is very complex, not because of the question, but because of you. You are not yet at the point from where friendliness can become an experience. Be real, be authentic and you will know the purest quality of love – just a fragrance of love surrounding you always. And that quality of the purest love is friendliness. Friendship is addressed to someone, somebody is your friend.
Once Gautam Buddha was asked, “Does the enlightened man have friends?” and he said, “No.” The questioner was shocked because he was thinking the man who is enlightened must have the whole world as his friend.
But Gautam Buddha is right, whether you are shocked or not. When he says, “The enlightened man has no friends,” he is saying he cannot have friends because he cannot have enemies. They both come together. Friendliness he can have, but not friendship.
Friendliness is unfocused, unaddressed love. It is not any contract, spoken or unspoken. It is not from one individual to another individual; it is from one individual to the whole existence, of which man is only a small part, because trees are included, animals are included, rivers are included, mountains are included, stars are included. Everything is included in friendliness.
Friendliness is just the way of your being real and authentic; you start radiating it. It comes on its own accord, you don’t have to bring it. Whoever comes close to you will feel the friendliness.
That does not mean that nobody will be your enemy. As far as you are concerned, you will not be an enemy of anyone, because you are no more a friend to anyone. But your height, your consciousness, your blissfulness, your silence, your peace will annoy many, will irritate many, will make many, without understanding you, your enemies.
In fact the enlightened men have more enemies than the unenlightened. The unenlightened may have a few enemies, a few friends. The enlightened men have almost the whole world antagonistic towards them, because the blind people cannot forgive the man who has eyes, and the ignorant cannot forgive one who knows. They cannot feel love towards a man who has attained to his fulfillment, because their egos are hurt.
Just the other day I received four letters from four different American prisons. All the four prisoners are asking for sannyas. One American prisoner has been reading my books. Since I was in that prison for one day, the authorities became interested, the prisoners became interested, so they must have ordered my books. The prisoner has been reading those books.
Although he is an American, he writes that “Osho, reading your books, listening to you on the television, and when you were in the prison for one day, I was also here.” He has been there for almost five years... “It was a blissful experience for me and I will never forget the day we were together in the same cell; it has been the most important day of my life.
And I have been carrying something in me which I want to express to you. You have not committed any sin. Of that I was absolutely certain the moment I saw you. But to be innocent seems to be a greater crime than any other. And because you were talked about on the radio, on the television, your books were read all over the country, there came a moment when you were more important a figure than the president of America. That’s what triggered the whole process of destroying your commune, imprisoning you – just to humiliate you.”
I was surprised that a prisoner would have such a deep insight. He is saying “People like you are bound to be condemned, because even the greatest, most powerful people look like pygmies before your consciousness and your height. It is your fault,” he is saying to me. “If you were not so successful, you would have been ignored. If your commune was not so successful, nobody would have bothered about you.”
The enlightened man has no friends, no enemies, but only a pure love, unaddressed. He is ready to pour into anybody’s heart who is available. That is real authentic friendliness.
But such a man will provoke many egos, will hurt those who think they are very important and powerful people. The presidents and the queens and the prime ministers and the kings will become immediately worried, concerned. A man who has no power has suddenly become the focus of attention of the people, attracts more people than the people who have power and money and prestige. Such a man cannot be forgiven. He has to be punished whether he has committed any crime or not. And a man of enlightenment cannot commit a crime; that is just a sheer impossibility.
But to be innocent, to be friendly, to be loving for no reason at all, just to be yourself is enough to trigger many egos against you. So when I say, “The enlightened man has no enemies,” I mean that from his side he has no enemies. But from others’ side, the greater his height, the more will be their antagonism against him, the more will be the enmity, hatred, condemnation. This is how it has been happening for centuries.
Nirvano was just telling me the other day that the day I was fined four hundred thousand dollars – more than half a crore rupees – knowing perfectly well that I don’t possess a single paisa, a single cent, the attorney who was working for Nirvano told her, “They have done it again.”
She asked him, “What are you saying?” And he said,Yes, they have done it again. They have again crucified Jesus, they have again punished a man who is utterly innocent – but his innocence hurts their egos.”
Just an intellectual understanding will not be enough – although it is good to have some intellectual understanding, because that may help you move towards existential experience. But only the experience will give you the full taste of the tremendous sweetness, the beauty, the godliness and the truth of love.